Back In Hell

Steve Blower is a singer/songwriter and guitarist from the UK, best known as the lead singer and guitarist for British heavy metallers Hamerex. 'Back In Hell' is the debut solo album from Steve, and was released in the autumn of 2019. Steve wrote all the music, performed every instrument and designed the artwork...the album originally scheduled for an earlier release, but was delayed due to wrist injuries Steve received working on the drums.    
When you think of British heavy metal, bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon and the legendary Black Sabbath all spring immediately to mind. With all these bands celebrating a forty years or more music career, their retirement is coming over the horizon, and when they do eventually retire, who will step up and replace them as torchbearers of British heavy metal? A question that is open to a lengthy debate, which I am not gonna have right now, but I am gonna put one name forward...Steve Blower. A successful fifteen year career with his band Hamerex, which is currently on hold, he is also a published author and is now embarking on a solo career, Steve is etching himself into heavy metal history.    
His debut album 'Back In Hell' features eleven songs across fifty three minutes, and is packed to the rafters with pure, British, heavy metal. Opener, and title song, 'Back In Hell' is a galloping burst of energy, and will have heads banging and fists punching the air from start to finish. With its huge NWOBHM influence, the album powers on with the heavier and punchier 'The Whisperer'. Guitars chug and drums thunder as 'The Whisperer' races on, exciting fans of this style of heavy metal, making them salivate and drool at the prospect of what else is to come. And as a fan of heavy metal since the early eighties, growing up listening to 'Maiden, 'Priest and 'Sabbath, 'Back In Hell' is definitely hitting the sweet spot for me. The more melodic 'What's Left Of Me' is up next, and is a mid tempo infectious and very catchy offering to keep heads nodding hard, and feet tapping harder. With a slower tempo, and a more Black Sabbath doom like guitar sound, 'The Prophet' buzzes into life, and slow marches on. A bit darker, a bit moody and definitely a bit more menacing than the opening triple salvo, 'The Prophet' is full of groovy swagger. And with a sudden turn of pace, 'Arabian Nights', the first of three (consecutive) instrumental songs, roars into life with the kind of guitar buzz that is so synonymous with the iconic NWOBHM sound. Steve is an accomplished musician, with plenty of experience behind him, his talents shining through as 'Out Of This World' continues the guitar gallop. A more melodic offering than 'Arabian Nights', much more guitar work too, 'Out Of This World' is reminding me of the instrumental offering 'Losfer Words', served up by Iron Maiden on their 1984 album 'Powerslave'.    
The third instrumental is a much heavier affair, with its colossal guitar buzz sound cutting a savage path as it strides by. And for me, 'The Midas Touch' is the best of the three instrumentals on offer. Oh man, that guitar sound is making me dribble... 'Twisted Evolution' opens with an eerie, almost chilling atmosphere, and proceeds to deliver a menacing foot stomp of the mightiest nature, with Steve venomously spitting the lyrics. Clocking in at over seven minutes in length 'The Slain/Ties That Bind' is an epic longer song, with a mellow intro, building quickly to a crescendo of thundering riffage and that all so familiar glorious NWOBHM guitar sound. 'The Slain/Ties That Bind' is melodic heavy metal off the top shelf, standing tall and proud. Moving the album in a heavier direction once more, is 'Haunting Misery', offering a mighty guitar riff that would not be out of place on a Megadeth album. A mid tempo heavy stomp, 'Haunting Misery' is the least British song on the album, featuring the more Megadeth style of thrash metal. Bringing the album to a close is the storming 'The World Is Ablaze', the fastest song on offer and the most head bang able. 'The World Is Ablaze' was released as the first single off the album and is a glorious gallop of Judas Priest style heaviness. And there ends the debut album from a rising star of British heavy metal, on an upward trajectory to become one of the leading torchbearers, when the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon and Black Sabbath all call it a day.    
Overall, an infectious and addictive album of pure British beef, 'Back In Hell' is a great way to launch your solo career.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Steve Blower